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A La Carte (December 21)

A La Carte Thursday 1

It’s December 21—one of my favorite days of the year since, after today, the days finally begin to length. With the sun rising today at 7:47 AM and setting again at 4:45 PM, I’m more than ready for greater light and longer days!

(Yesterday on the blog: The Collected Best Christian Books of 2023)

Where Is the Source of Your Joy This Christmas?

“Here’s a man, a writer — wise in the eyes of the world —, who looks to the stars as the possible source of his joy — when the wisest of men in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth look not to the stars but to the one to whom the star is pointing.” Stephen McAlpine considers a tragic Christmas article.

Good News of Great Joy That Will Malform All the People

S. Mark Hamilton looks at a recent adaptation of a classic Christian hymn and differentiates between two categories of Christian worship music: lyrical chaff and lyrical wheat. It’s a bit of a long article but offers some really helpful thoughts. (Be sure to understand what he means by “wheat” and “chaff” or it won’t make much sense.)

The Icing on the Cake of Pope Francis: The Blessing of Same-Sex Unions

Leonardo De Chirico is one of the foremost Protestant scholars of Catholicism, so I was looking forward to reading his thoughts on Pope Francis’ new declaration that priests can now bless same-sex unions. “The die is cast. What had been a decade-long debate between those who hoped for this opening, considering it an advancement of Catholic morality toward greater inclusiveness, and those who saw it as a sign of Roman Catholicism’s irreversible ruin is now resolved.” (See also Murray Campbell)

When Did Multiple Services Begin?

When did evangelical churches in America begin holding multiple services? That is an interesting question and one of real significance.

Christmas in a Foreign Land

Esther Greenfield reflects on spending Christmas in a foreign land—North Africa in her case. But there is something here for all of us, even if we are in the lands of our birth.

Fading Glory and Permanent Things

Denny Burk: “Our lives go by us in a flash. Our time is so short. And yet, still our hearts long for a fading glory—a glory that will be forgotten and unknown infinitely longer than it was known or acknowledged by anyone.”

Flashback: On Following Mediocre Leaders

We follow him by following them. That’s true whether they are brilliant leaders, bad leaders, or, more likely, just plain mediocre leaders. 

There is nothing in the world that gives so much rest to the soul as to do the will of God.

—F.B. Meyer

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